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Portrait of an Artist – Erin Currier

Oct 15, 2012 04:58PM ● By Scott Blackwell
Photography by Karen Kuehn

Name: Erin Currier

Artistic Medium (or media): Mixed Media Collage and Acrylic Paint (comprised of disinherited consumer waste collected in more than 40 countries).

Southwest Connection: As a young girl growing up in rural New England, I occasionally visited my grandmother, Juanita, in Arizona. The desert – with its vast and vivid wide-open sky – made quite the impression on my imagination. I left for New Mexico, where I had been accepted in the Theatre Department at the College of Santa Fe – as soon as I came of age. At 18, I crossed the country in a beat up VW convertible and have been based here ever since.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment: I think that most artists – regardless of their level of success – live in conditions of instability and uncertainty – be it economic insecurity or social controversy. Any artist who can make art without letting success go to their head, and without taking failure to heart, should be applauded. I think my biggest accomplishment is that I posses the perseverance required to do this and to make art on any continent, anywhere: on North African trains, in South American grungy motel rooms and tiny apartments, on boats, benches, sidewalks and stoops.

What do others consider your biggest accomplishment: I can't speak for anyone else, but my guess would be that others would consider my ability to support myself as an artist for many years an accomplishment. Or that I can maintain a sense of humor.

Favorite artist - Why: Diego Rivera is my favorite artist for a number of reasons – not the least of which was that, as an artist grounded in the humanities, he felt a sense of responsibility both to society, and to the development of his own discipline.

Your biggest inspiration: I am most inspired by the people I portray. I share a deep affinity with many of the workers, women, poets and civil rights activists whom I have painted; their determination and courage in the face of adversity moves me to continue and persist in my own art-making endeavors.

If I wasn’t an artist, I’d probably be : A garbage collector.

Currier’s work can be viewed and purchased at Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, and in Scottsdale, AZ; the Parks Gallery in Taos; Masottatorres Arte Contemporanea in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and online at